Friday, May 27, 2016

And the Winners of the 2016 Arthur Ellis Awards for Canadian Crime Fiction Are...

Crime Writers of Canada announced the 2016 Arthur Ellis Award winners. Congratulations to All

Best Novel: Peter Kirby, Open Season, Linda Leith Publishing

Best First Novel: Ausma Zehanat Khan, The Unquiet Dead, Minotaur

The Lou Allen Memorial Award for Best Novella: Jeremy Bates, Black Canyon, Dark Hearts, Ghillinnein Books

Best Short Story: Scott Mackay, The Avocado Kid, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine

Best Book in French: Luc Chartrand, L'Affaire Myosotis, Québec Amérique

Best Juvenile/YA: Stephanie Tromly, Trouble is a Friend of Mine, Kathy Dawson Books

Best Nonfiction: Dean Jobb, Empire of Deception, Harper Collins Publishers

The Dundurn Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel:

 Jayne Barnard, When the Flood Falls

(Yes, that's my novel manuscript! So exciting!)

CWC also announced the 2016 Grand Master Winner Eric Wright. Eric Wright wrote eighteen crime novels, in four different series, as well as novels, a novella, and a memoir. Eric’s first novel, The Night the Gods Smiled (1983), won the first Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel, the John Creasey Award from the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA), and the City of Toronto Book Award. The Kidnapping of Rosie Dawn (2000) won an Arthur and was nominated for an Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America (MWA). His writing career spanned over forty years and his contribution to Canadian crime writing was, without question, immense. This was recognized in 1998 when Eric received the Derrick Murdoch Award for lifetime contribution to Canadian crime writing. Eric Wright passed away in October, 2015, shortly after being notified that he had been selected for the Grand Master Award. Eric continued writing until shortly before his death, and in May 2016, Cormorant Books released The Land Mine, a historical novel loosely based on Eric’s own childhood in World War II London.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

If you haven't heard of this delightful Steampunk sport for ladies yet, here's the Parasol Dueling Regional Championships report to get you up to speed:

2016 Prairie Spring Regionals

  Photo credit to Karlo Keet of Catstar Images

For even more information on Parasol Dueling rules, outfits and people around the world who are participating, see

Madame Saffron Hemlock's Parasol Dueling League for Steampunk Ladies

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Why did Golden Age Detective Writers situate their Murder Mysteries on Holidays and Modes of Transport?

An excellent essay discussing the why, when, and how of Golden Age Crime Writers using travel in mystery fiction:
Is it just to dazzle the reader with exoticism and provide a means of escapism? Or is there something more to it? After a lot of head scratching and pondering here are 8 possible reasons I have come up with…
Golden Age Crime Writers 

All those early Agatha Christie travels in Mesopotamia had a decided influence on my fascination with deserts and excavations, which led - by a decades'-long reading line of mysteries by other authors - to my starting Maddie's debut adventure in Egypt.

Have you a favourite Golden Age mystery, or travel mystery of any era?

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Short Fiction: Looks Just Like the Sun

 Now live on LitBreak, Looks Just Like the Sun was a semi-finalist for the Broken Social Scene/House of Anansi short fiction contest in 2013.
 “Hey, Dan. Borrow your twelve-gauge? Gotta go shoot up a house.”
Yeah. Like that would fly with a guy you haven’t seen in three years. Maybe put “Merry Christmas” first?” While he waited, Marcel shifted kindling from the porch’s woodpile into his backpack and crammed the day’s Northern Times in on top. He zipped up just as the door opened.
“Marcel. Thought you was in rehab.”

“They let me out for the holidays.”

He was supposed to be at Odelle’s in Hearst already, two dry weeks for the recovering drunken Indian. She’d be pissed when he didn’t show up, afraid he had veered into the first bar instead, but this side-trip was her Christmas present. She’d understand.

He followed Dan indoors, dropping his backpack and parka on a chair. He kicked the snow off his boots but kept them on, against the cold and the decades of dirt on the hallway floor.

“Borrow your twelve-gauge?”

“You going bush in this weather?”

“Nope. Gonna shoot up a house. You can have the shotgun back right after.”

Dan peered at him, unsure about the humour. “That’d make me an accessory. They’d throw both our asses in the can.”

“No place else to go until spring.” Marcel pulled a chair toward the gray-topped table, nudging aside a sleeping mutt with his boot.

Read the rest at LitBreak. Looks Just Like the Sun

Rooted in my teen years living in Kapuskasing, and written in part as tribute to friends who survived the foster care system, this story is a companion piece to "Trail of the Wolf" which won the NOWW short fiction contest in 2013.

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